April 7, 2020, 9:12 p.m. EDT

Coronavirus update: 1.39 million cases globally, 79,091 dead; Wuhan, China, reports zero deaths for first time since January

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By Ciara Linnane, MarketWatch


Getty Images
A barber returns to everyday life in Wuhan, China

The Chinese city of Wuhan reported zero deaths Tuesday from the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 for the first time since January, according to media reports, raising hopes that China’s extraordinary containment measures are having an effect and could be reproduced elsewhere.

Wuhan, the city that first reported cases of COVID-19 late last year, is preparing to come out of lockdown on Wednesday, with travel restrictions expected to be lifted. The city was placed in quarantine on Jan. 23 via stringent restrictions on movement, forcing its 11 million residents to hunker down and avoid spreading the virus and overwhelming the health-care system.

See: Green symbol on Chinese smartphone screens allows subway travel, hotel check-in; new ‘health code’ a tool in getting economy on its feet

State news agency Xinhua said some areas of the city will remain under lockdown, as officials track asymptomatic cases, which were not included in early tracking. China has reported 82,718 cases of the virus and 3,335 deaths, although some have questioned the accuracy of those numbers. Chinese officials are now working to avoid a second wave of infections being brought in from overseas.

Japan declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and other areas for at least a month, after the number of cases more than doubled in a week.

Read now: What we can learn from South Korea and Singapore’s efforts to stop coronavirus (besides wearing face masks)

In Europe, the rate of deaths from the pandemic rose in Spain for the first time in five days, with 743 new fatalities, disappointing hopes that the worst was over for the country with the highest case tally in Europe. In the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson remained in an intensive-care unit to which he was moved late Monday after his symptoms worsened. The UK reported 768 new deaths, it’s highest one-day toll.

In the U.S., there is growing concern that voters in Wisconsin may expose themselves to the virus by voting in person in a presidential primary election, after efforts by its Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to postpone the ballot were stymied. The conservative-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court on Monday sided with Republicans who said he didn’t have the authority to reschedule the race on his own, the Associated Press reported. Conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court quickly followed with a ruling blocking Democratic efforts to extend absentee voting.

Click to Play

Permission Slips and Tracker Bracelets: How Quarantines Are Enforced

Countries are experimenting with both high- and low-tech ways to enforce lockdowns or self-quarantines. WSJ reporters in Rome, New York and Hong Kong compare their isolation experiences to show how some governments are willing to impose stricter measures to stop the virus. Photo illustration: Crystal Tai

The U.S. has the most confirmed cases of the virus with 379,965 and at least 11,851 deaths, according to data aggregated by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state recorded its biggest one-day increase in deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday, as 731 fatalities brought the state tally to 5,489. There are now 138,836 cases of the virus in New York, making it the epicenter of the U.S. pandemic. The number of new hospitalizations also rose, said Cuomo, but the three-day average has fallen, raising hopes that the state is reaching an apex for hospitalizations. Daily moves into intensive-care units and intubations were also lower, he told reporters at a daily briefing.

In New York City, the death toll rose to more than 4,000, exceeding the toll of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the city.

The global case tally now stands at 1.39 million and 79,091 deaths, the Johns Hopkins data show. Another 292,973 people have recovered. Spain has 140,511 cases and has suffered 13,897 deaths. Italy has 135,586 cases and 17,127 deaths, the highest death toll in the world.

Germany has 105,604 cases and 1,905 deaths. France has 98,984 cases and 8,926 deaths. Iran, a hot spot from early on, has 62,589 cases and 3,872 deaths.

India lifted a temporary export ban on hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that President Donald Trump has aggressively touted as a treatment for COVID-19, despite there being little evidence to suggest it is effective. The lifting of the ban is understood to have come after Trump pressured Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a weekend call.

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